Starting at age 7 kids need to know about taking care of their health. For girls, this usually means a talk with mom. The talk can be awkward. Changing bodies and mood swings are not the easiest dinner conversations. Since 1998, American Girl has been there to help parents connect with girls through their advice library of books.
Ready or not puberty is coming for many of us. American Girl's books are here to help us handle topics like body basics, hygiene, friends, first crushes, clothing, and more. The 1998 first edition of the Care and Keeping of You was a tremendous hit. Then the brand did a bit of a re-boot in 2013. Success! That book spent 150 weeks as a best seller and sold more than a million copies. What does that tell me? Moms want help and girls want to listen.
Our breakfast celebrated the latest development on the Care & Keeping series--a new two-part book. It's made to help moms and daughters build open honest communications about health and sexuality. Not easy, but a heck of a lot easier with American Girl's help. To kick off the new book, American Girl had Dr. Cara Natterson join our blogger breakfast to answer questions and tell us about the writing process.
Dr. Natterson is a pediatrician, writer, consultant, and yes, mom of two. She was wonderfully warm and frank. She's been there ladies. The two-hour conversation is WAY too much to recap here, but let me start with a few twitter highlights...
There were so, so many more tidbits. Here are the things I'm planning to put into place:
1. Delay social media: We can't hide from social media, but we can delay and supervise. There's a reason Instagram sets age 13 as minimum. I may even go later. A girl shouldn't have her worth wrapped up in likes and comments.
2. Build a strong base: When the girl turns 12, mom takes a back seat to friendships. We no longer have the power and influence. I plan on banking some goodwill over the next few years and letting the girls know I'm available and listening.
3. Self-esteem is the primary predictor in kid’s health: Get your girl involved in things that make her feel special. Offer specific praise. "I can tell you worked hard on piano this fall. You really nailed that final tricky movement of the concerto at the last recital" instead of "You are the most wonderful girl in the 6th grade!"
4. Let you kids fail: Helicopter parenting is dead. Amen! To build independence, we've got to stop advocating all the time and let the kids mess up when the stakes are lower.
5. Recognize the science: Studies show that a child's brain is not wired to make good decisions until the late 20’s. Don't set them up for failure.
6. Girls want dad to be part of the conversations: They are a valuable resource. Make sure dad is involved.
7. Talk when it's safe: Great times to talk to your tween girls? In the car and at night seem to be the most rewarding time for chats. Consistency matters, if she shuts you out the first 10 times you try to talk...KEEP TRYING!
We've done other events and reviews with American Girl--all fun and wonderful, but this chat was our most worthwhile investment yet. Thanks to them to making this joyous ride a little less scary.
We're thrilled to help launch this book (really a kit) and also help start conversations. The Care & Keeping of Us includes twin books, one for girls and one for moms, filled with dozens of how-to-say-it scripts to get the conversations going. I love the addition of a sharing journal. The joint journal lets both moms and girls jot down thoughts, memories, and questions. Get the book and let me know what you think!
Momtrends was proud to co-host this sponsored event with American Girl.